Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fun With Photoshop, Liberal Media Edition

Courtesy of The Economist, busted by the New York Times for doctoring a photo for its cover:

That’s a neat trick, doctoring a photo in which a 6-ft 1-inch President Obama leans in to listen to a much shorter Charlotte Randolph. Removing the other individuals in the photo instead makes the president appear to be
standing alone on a Louisiana beach, head down, looking forlornly at the ground.

I realize the National Enquirer pulls shit like this all the time but The Economist? Clearly the entire meaning of the image has changed. The Economist’s editor doesn’t see it that way, however:

Yes, Charlotte Randolph was edited out of the image (Admiral Allen was removed by the crop). We removed her not to make a political point, but because the presence of an unknown woman would have been puzzling to readers.


I asked for Ms. Randolph to be removed because I wanted readers to focus on Mr. Obama, not because I wanted to make him look isolated. That wasn’t the point of the story. “The damage beyond the spill” referred to on the cover, and examined in the cover leader, was the damage not to Mr. Obama, but to business in America.

Oh bullshit. You knew damn well what you were doing. You know what’s puzzling to readers? That once you were busted for doctoring a photo to slant the image’s meaning you backpedaled so quickly with such an obvious lie. Who, us? Try to make President Obama appear isolated? Never!


Recently Outside Magazine got in trouble for photoshopping Lance Armstrong's age on his T-shirt for its current cover. Even though the change was acknowledged in the cover text, Armstrong was not amused. This case is far worse because, paired with a provocative headline, it made the President of the United States appear damaged, even deflated. That might make readers of The Economist feel better but it’s not an accurate picture of things.

Another fail for journalism.